Light After Dark

A virtual art walk of Kaori Fukuyama's multi-disciplinary work and a facilitated panel with local creatives

December 3, 2020 at 5:30 PM Pacific

Border is pleased to present our second ENGAGE Art Show & Shindig Light After Dark featuring San Diego-based artist and designer Kaori Fukuyama. The event will be broadcast live from Border's offices at Torr Kaelan in East Village with participants viewing the works via a virtual art walk on their computers or devices using Zoom. The event is open to all ages.

Artist Statement

Living under the seductive sunlight of San Diego for many years, I am inspired by the magical interplay of color and light in both the natural world (sunset, rainbow, dappled forest light) and in man-made environments (spotlights, reflection off a building, neon signs).

I am fascinated by how light affects the way we see, feel, and perceive our surroundings. In the studio, I experiment with various mediums, materials, and scales, observing their interactions with light and exploring how our visual and emotional perception may be influenced by such interactions. The complex relationship among color, light, and shadow is the focus of my artwork, which includes abstract paintings, drawings, sculptures, and site-specific installations.

With the darkness brought forth by the pressing health, political and social justice issues I started wondering about the meaning of my work, if focusing on light was even relevant at all in these times. I then realized that I can use my art as a way to find light in the darkness. Creating art in this period has been very cathartic, unfamiliar from what I’ve done before, but healing in many ways.  

My hope is that each piece evokes a certain memory or experience that serves to remind the viewer of the beauty and magic of the light we encounter in our everyday life.

What is a Virtual Art Walk?

Due to in-person event constraints, we're trying something new (and a little bit daring) this time. The art will be displayed in the Border offices as normal, but participants will join virtually via their computers or devices using Zoom to join Kaori on a tour of her work.

After participating in several virtual exhibits from museums like LACMA, we want to try to make the experience as immersive as possible.

Each tour group will consist of:

  • The artist, Kaori Fukuyama
  • Three Border employees, called avatars, in-person with Kaori exploring the art under the guidance of a remote participant. Each avatar will be wearing a tablet broadcasting the art walk to the puppeteer and viewers.
  • Three puppeteers. Puppeteers are virtual participants, but they have special powers. Each puppeteer will control one avatar in the group. Puppeteers can tell their avatar to move around, look a specific way, crouch or ask a question. We're trying to provide an approximation of an in-person gallery experience.
  • Up to 250 viewers. These participants will not be able to give guidance to the avatars, but will be able to follow along with the group. Each viewer will be assigned to a single avatar.

How to be a Puppeteer

When reserving a free ticket for the event, each participant may also elect to join the waitlist to be a puppeteer. In total, only nine viewers will be upgraded to puppeteers (one per avatar for each tour group).

At the start of each tour, the first viewer on the puppeteer waitlist will be given control of the avatar. If the designated viewer is not online, the next person on the waitlist will be selected. There is no grace period. If you want to be a puppeteer, please be early and make sure your technology is working.

Puppeteers will need audio to both hear the art walk and speak to their avatar. Please make sure you have a working microphone and there isn't too much background noise. We want each participant to have an outstanding experience. Please respect the experience of others.

Puppeteers must be at least 18 years old. While you can join multiple viewing groups, you can only be a puppeteer once.

How Each Tour Group Works

Five minutes prior to the start of their ticketed tour time, participants will be sent a link to a break-out room. Participants will then leave the waiting room and join the break-out room. Viewers will be muted during the entire time of the art walk. Puppeteers will be granted audio to speak to their avatars, but the artist will not hear each puppeteer. The avatars will relay the puppeteers' questions to the artist so that all participants can hear the question.

After ten minutes, the tour will conclude, but the break-out room will remain open. Viewers may discuss the tour prior to rejoining the main waiting room for the panel conversation. The tour group break-out rooms will be unmoderated and all participants can speak to each other. Five minutes before the panel, all break-out rooms will be closed.


  • 5:30 PM Access to the waiting room opens; introduction to Kaori and Torr Kaelan plays on looping video
  • 5:45 - 6:30 Virtual Tours
    5:50 - 6:00 Group 1
    6:05 - 6:15 Group 2
    6:20 - 6:30 Group 3
  • 6:40 - 7:10 Facilitated panel conversation
  • 7:10 - 7:30 Audience Q&A
  • 7:30 PM Virtual event closes

The Panel Conversation

A conversation with Kaori and other panelists on the theme will be held after the art walks. The audience will be invited to join the conversation by submitting their questions in the virtual chat during the Q&A once the panelists provide their perspective on the the topic.

We hope this is a group conversation inspired by the artwork and guided by the panelists. We want this panel to be as interactive as possible within the constraints of the virtual medium.

Featured Artists

Kaori Fukuyama

KAORI FUKUYAMA is a multi-disciplinary artist from Japan, who lives and works in San Diego. She creates paintings, drawings, sculptures, and site-specific installations that explore the interactions of color, light and shadow.
View Bio


Christian Garcia-Olivo

CHRISTIAN GARCIA-OLIVO is a process based artist who currently resides in San Diego, CA. He uses craft techniques, such as weaving and collage, as a way to examine and challenge contemporary issues, bringing attention to the hierarchy of art media and the ongoing subordination of craft.

Bhavna Mehta

BHAVNA MEHTA works with paper – cutting and embroidering it to tell stories that combine figurative imagery with botanical motifs, text and shadows. She makes work about relating and remembering.

Katie Ruiz

KATIE RUIZ is a Xicana artist who resides in San Diego, CA. She was raised in Los Angeles and Northern Arizona. Ruiz has a strong connection with nature and often uses natural objects like rocks, shells, leaves and sticks in her weavings and Sculptures.

Melissa Walter

MELISSA WALTER works as a science illustrator for NASA and that experience has inspired her to visually articulate wonders of the Universe, such as black holes, supernovas, neutron stars, dark matter and dark energy in more abstract approaches.


We like making new friends

Whether you are an artist looking for a venue to display your work, or a local with a drive to bring the community together, we'd love to hear from you. Our goal with Engage is to connect people with art and architecture of East Village. If you want to participate or even co-sponsor an event, please reach out. Or if you just want to say hi, that's cool, too.